Simplifying isn’t just about letting go of things but also people

I start with these ten points because I am still learning them myself. I am learning to let go of shame and procrastination and expectation and excuses and as I have been growing in the letting go of all these things holding me back, I’ve found also that I’ve been having to let go of people I love. A person I love. This is not an easy thing for me but I have seen that the time is not right for us nor seems ever right and i live the adage that good things come to those who wait. Instead of seeing the shedding of people as a disappointment I understand that this happens for the following reasons:

  • They no longer fit who you are becoming
  • They need to live their life without you so that they can learn their own lessons that maybe you would keep them from learning
  • They need space to figure out what they really want or need.
  • Knowing this I always wonder if their retreat out of my life was because of something I did wrong. It is unknowable really and I am letting go of torturing myself about what I did wrong or if I should have done this or that or the other thing. Loss isn’t about me. It is all about them, their best outcome and all I can do is love them anyway. And I do. Things seem emptier without them. I am faced with myself entirely and so I turn to writing as I have always done, to process life and loss and who I am becoming as my life becomes more about independence, minimalism, positivity and less about weighing myself down with guilt and shame and dread and the illusion I have power to change much of anything or anyone. It is better that I don’t. I can control my responses to things that happen. I can’t control people, nor would I want to. The people who I matter to will remain in my life, whether they retreat a while or remain actively engaged with me.
  • Sometimes the wrong people have to be cleared away so that the right people can enter. It doesn’t mean you don’t mourn the loss for a while. I do and I don’t deny or bury my feelings.
  • Loss doesn’t mean getting over having love for someone. It means learning there is a bridge over what we have lost and that nothing is ever really lost in the end. Love is that bridge. I love enough to let go and not control and show the respect and compassion we deserve in the letting go.
  • The ones who are meant to stay and support my growth will come into my life and stay and go perhaps; gain and loss is a circular thing that helps us learn about ourselves if we are open to the lessons people teach us as we live this journey.
  • I have gone where I feel most alive. I am home, by my Lake and gulls and boats, living how I want to live with a minimum of what I need experiencing life more fully, being more present, authentic and loving without reservation. Thank you for all of the people who taught me about who I am.
  • Nothing is ever lost.
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Vision of what is to come

all is black and I am

moved forward by voices a cacophony if voices quiet then growing louder confused

I cannot make out the words but they slipside around me washing me like water drowning me rough seas

for we have known fear all of us unable to get traction on the world in front of us moving at light speed all of us crying in bewilderment at what we have created this great evil destroying us by degrees

I get alone and rock back and forth on the shore of this big inland sea and my prayers are carried by birds on the wind dipping and wheeling over waves crashing then

I see eagles in flight glowing in the black

I have seen them every day for a week so they announced themselves and these are giant birds who have voices of thunder

those thunder voices carry them forward they know the people need them

there is a blue warrior

A red warrior

A yellow warrior

A black warrior

a white sky and cloud people usher them and the growing dawn erases the black and people are no longer blind

Oh the horses, black and brown and red and bays and white all flowing manes and tails

the thunder of their hooves is astounding and I cower in front of them waiting

To be crushed

they leap over me and the wind of them blows the sun across the sky

those warriors follow behind them and then I see a beautiful woman

all is hushed

This woman carries a pipe and a buffalo walks beside her and behind her and becomes her and she is woman old and young and buffalo and calf all at once shimmering in the wake of horses

she speaks in the ancient language and it does not matter I do not understand I understand she has come

To save us

she sang the world into being and she sings again to save it her song erasing those who would destroy her mother her mother no longer old and sick on a cot but rising to destroy the ones who are death

rising the people rise the people know the people rainbow people rising

I open my eyes and the sun is almost gone

I get up and now I write

to tell

To remember

This is what will be what will happen the eagles have told me an

4th of July 2018

Heavy treads descend. I hear the matched marching heavy booted clump clump clump jackbooted night drawing

upon us all

Freedom duels with itself and flags fly perpetually at

at half mast

dissent arrested shots ring out sad and slow and true scything down the flower of our youth who

die in vain for their country.

what is right is now twisted into former versions of itself and injustice uncloaked no more pretending to be something benevolent something

sinister

I hear the cries of children who are the lambs in this slow slaughter of liberty while

a soft slow voice tells me let the dead bury their dead

let the sleepers sleep

I run to gather up the discarded heart of she who has dropped her torch and sits weeping soulessly eating innocence

her castaway heart is too heavy to bear

and God has fled

an impostor shadow stands laughing mockingly

I am I am I am

there will be no fireworks only the screams of the damned behind barbed wire starving

work will set us free

souls will climb heavenward the sleepers unaware of

the hell they have unleashed

death creeps slowly forward in the eyes of the jackbooted suited fiends delighting in the chaos and

fear and

pain and burning black smoke goes up the chimneys

look here

is the abyss with an echo of the past

a child’s voice

My country ”tis of thee

Sweet land of liberty

let freedom ring

the whisper

dies

freedom no

more just a word we used

to fight for

a white dove

plummets

to the earth

Clump clump clump clump

In which I ponder the lies we tell ourselves and how I am learning to speak my truth even if my voice shakes

We like lies.

We claim not to like liars but we do.

We like the people who butter us up. We like feeling validated. We fall for it and then wonder how the carpet got pulled out from under us when these types take advantage of us.

We like politicians who tell us what we want to hear. We all say we know politicians are liars. None of them keep campaign promises which are usually do gooder crap about how they’re going to feed hungry children and then don’t do it. We vote for the one with the best lines in the end. Politicians are like bad boyfriends we know are bad for us but we fall for the lines (read lies) every time.

I get tired of lies and the lying liars who tell them. They need to be called out but calling out self aggrandizing liars for what they are requires us to recognize we fell for their crap in the first place and we don’t like to admit we can be wrong. When our politics possesses us like Satan himself and we’d rather vote for the team so we can one up the “competition” or the “enemy” and “win,” rather than vote for the good of the country (that means the good of all, even the people you don’t like. This is a democratic republic after all. Other people than you live here and deserve the same rights and freedoms you enjoy). It takes recognizing some groups in our society are historically oppressed and this oppression goes on today. It means recognizing the truth of racism and misogyny and not trying to deny that real people get hurt when one group dictates for everyone else.

Lies. Liars. It is because of the liars in my own life I learned and am learning to stand up and speak up. This is what I think of the whole buzz around the possible peace deal between North and South Korea.

Big Liar

Kim Jong Un is the biggest liar of them all. He is fooling everyone. He is a dictator who kills and imprisons his own people and he has been sidelined and sanctioned for good reason. His human rights abuses are shocking. He engages in human trafficking of North Korean girls to China to make money. If they come back pregnant by Chinese men, they are forced to get an abortion. No one is free in North Korea. Those who resist, die.Human Rights Watch notes that North Korea’s human rights violations are unparalleled in the world:

They include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence. North Korea operates secretive prison camps where perceived opponents of the government are sent to face torture and abuse, starvation rations, and forced labor. Fear of collective punishment is used to silence dissent. There is no independent media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom.

There have been numerous warnings by North Korean experts and those who have defected not to be taken in by Kim Jong Un’s sudden wish for peace. He recognizes that he is the linch pin of the whole peace process and his self importance pleases him for he is as narcissistic as they come. He is charming and funny and he is using it to charm the world so that he gets what he wants. He recognizes that there is a US president who not only publicly admires dictators, but who is deluding himself with daydreams of all the accolades his troubled presidency will get if this comes together. Kim Jong Un knows the President of the United States will look the other way while he kills and imprisons and takes the rights away of his own people. So he is bowing and kissing in order to win freedom for himself to rule his country without the interference (sanctions) of the world, open his markets to the world to bring money into North Korea.

South Korea’s leader is no better. He wants peace so badly so he can look good to his people that he has removed the propaganda speakers at the border so as to appease Kim Jong Un. To make it look as if North Korea is also interested in peace, North Korea has been said to appear to be doing the same on their side.

The freedom to be a murderous dictator is the price of peace between the Koreas. And we are so enamored of the lie, we are failing to ask ourselves why now? Why is Kim Jong Un so suddenly interested in peace now after blustering and threatening Japan and the US and Korea all last year?

The appeasing by Kim Jong Un is not new. He and his father before him have repeated this cycle for years. Usually it is so they can get something they want–sanctions lifted, funding, armaments, etc. Joel Wit, a North Korea expert who has been involved with negotiations with North Korea since the Clinton administrationin an interview on National Public Radio yesterday says he feels North Korea has come to the end of their nuclear weapons development program which accounts for some of the sudden change in attitude:

But I also think the North Koreans may have reached the end of their development programs for nuclear weapons and missiles and may have decided that now is the time to shift gear – gears and to improve their economy. And so that means improving the external security environment so they can build up their economy.

KELLY: Oh, that’s interesting. So you’re arguing that maybe North Korea is thinking they wouldn’t have that much to lose by freezing their nuclear program for a bit.

WIT: You know, the North Koreans think months ahead, and I think they’re very different from us. So they probably had a number of game plans in place. And, you know, this was probably part of their game plan, and they’d been thinking about it for a while now. And I’ve heard things like this in private discussions with the North Koreans but certainly not having a meeting at the level of Kim Jong Un and President Trump.

Professor Robert E Kelly, an Australian at Pusan University in South Korea takes it one step further in a recent interview:

ROBERT E. KELLY: Well… (laughs) It’s probably in the middle…I don’t actually think that the ‘maximum pressure campaign’ really resulted in this opening. I think this is because the North Koreans now feel that they have nuclear deterrence with the United States, which is to say, they can strike the United States with a nuclear weapon. That means America cannot attack North Korea, because they might nuke us in return. And therefore, that gives North Korea room to negotiate.

I think that’s what this sort of ‘spring of summitry’ is, because the North Koreans aren’t just meeting with Americans, but with the South Koreans; with the Chinese; probably the Japanese and the Russians. They met the IOC (International Olympic Committee). And what they’re doing, basically, to my mind, is shopping around their program. So I don’t think that they are coming to the table to capitulate, as the President has intimated.

I think they are coming, basically, looking for a deal. And if we don’t give them something, if we don’t get some kind of deal out of them, they will just go back to the defensive crouch they have been in for years.

PT Barnum says a sucker is born every minute. We need to watch that we aren’t the suckers in a grand charade. Kim Jong Un plays chess. Our president does not. He shakes hands with dictators, praises dictators and legitimizes them instead of asking himself in the face if the horrific things Kim Jong Un does to his own people why no American president has ever visited with a leader of North Korea. Kim Jong Un lies about his human rights abuses daily, presents a face to the world that is a lie and lies to his own people with impunity and forces them to lie so they don’t die. He knows how to flatter and smile and joke.

Which one is wise? I will leave that to you to answer.

If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Kim Jong Un is lovebombing is for a reason. Just like a narcissist does. We should be asking ourselves why.

If the leaders of the world have no conscience, it is up to us, the people of the world, to stand up for the oppressed and brutalized people of North Korea. Unification of the Koreas will not change life for them. In the end we will be selling our soul to appease a monster who has no intention of handing over any power and democratizing North Korea.

Poem of the Day: William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

(Image from http://www.liamelia.com/second_coming.htm)

Feeling a little verklempt

I just got done doing my taxes and after feeling as if I have been pulled through a knothole backwards (I owe) now I turn to my writing to see what I can make of it.

I am undecided as to what kind of a writer I want to be. Short story writer? Poet? Essay/social commentary? My social commentary essays get the most reads on here, and while that would seem to be a possible indicator that I’m good at social commentary, I am not certain that is who I really am. One can do social commentary through story writing too, after all.

Figuring out who I am as a writer fits in with this transition period I am undergoing anyway as I try to find my niche in life. Going home is definitely one niche.

  • Home ✔️
  • Type of writer ??
  • Who do I belong with (TBD–this is falling into place)

I don’t know if any of you have got it all together. I don’t know that anybody does. Perhaps we all do the best we can daily. I hope I do my best. I make time for me now regularly to exercise or read or write or sometimes to sit in nature doing nothing at all. We need to do nothing at all daily for a little while because this world is way too busy and jumpy and anxious.

Anyway. I do a little of everything to see what I am. I am narrowing it down now, definitively.

Poem of the Day: Self portrait with Sylvia Plath’s Braid by Diane Seuss

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For those of you who want to know more about Plath’s hair kept at Indiana University go here.

Self-Portrait with Sylvia Plath’s Braid

Diane Seuss
Some women make a pilgrimage to visit it
in the Indiana library charged to keep it safe.
I didn’t drive to it; I dreamed it, the thick braid
roped over my hands, heavier than lead.
My own hair was long for years.
Then I became obsessed with chopping it off,
and I did, clear up to my ears. If hair is beauty
then I am no longer beautiful.
Sylvia was beautiful, wasn’t she?
And like all of us, didn’t she wield her beauty
like a weapon? And then she married,
and laid it down, and when she was betrayed
and took it up again it was a word-weapon,
a poem-sword. In the dream I fasten
her braid to my own hair, at my nape.
I walk outside with it, through the world
of men, swinging it behind me like a tail.
Copyright © 2015 by Diane Seuss. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 25, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.
Diane Seuss was born in Michigan City, Indiana, in 1956 and raised in Edwardsburg and Niles, Michigan. She studied at Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University, where she received a master’s degree in social work. Seuss is the author of three books of poetry: Four-Legged Girl (Graywolf Press, 2015); Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open (University of Massachusetts Press, 2010), recipient of the Juniper Prize for Poetry; and It Blows You Hollow (New Issues Press, 1998)

taken from https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/self-portrait-sylvia-plath’s-braid

 

 

Reimagining my life

At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know what this chance would be, what wind would bring it her, towards what shore it would drive her, if it would be a shallop or a three-decker, laden with anguish or full of bliss to the portholes. But each morning, as she awoke, she hoped it would come that day; she listened to every sound, sprang up with a start, wondered that it did not come; then at sunset, always more saddened, she longed for the morrow.

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

  • I will go back home to my lake.
  • I will not dwell on the failures of the past.
  • I forgive all those who hurt me and I pray I am forgiven by those I hurt.
  • I will earn an apartment. With wood floors and a lake view and bookshelves built into the walls. A nice old house.
  • I will play classical music in the evenings and have a nice wine rack with a good selection of wines.
  • I will hang art I love
  • I will have oriental rugs for the floors.
  • I will not allow the failed loves of the past to dictate failure in love in the future. I will love another and be loved truly by someone before I die.
  • I will have a good job and earn plenty of money.
  • I will collect used books for my used bookstore that I will have lakeside.
  • I will keep running and walking and do it beside the lake daily and live in hope, not despair or disappointment.

Love does not conquer all

This has been a season of all too brief hellos and all too soon goodbyes of friends who were friends for years and years. One I was reunited with. The reuniting was wonderful and a love long dormant in Me was expressed but to the tune of the wrong place and still the wrong time.

I was not the choice. As painful as that is sometimes you just have to accept it and move on. While the reason was all too clear in my situation, sometimes goodbyes are based on situations that are inexplicable and you don’t ever get to know why.

The door, after a goodbye or many opens. Sometimes we trap ourselves in situations because we feel it’s what we deserve and most of the time this choice is unconscious based on what has happened to us in life and what kind of protections we have developed. Even when we don’t need them anymore those same protection mechanisms can become a prison keeping us from growth and new experiences.

For me the goodbye was hard and unwanted but necessary so I didn’t live a lie and also to remain honest, even to a person who didn’t know I was around, who I personally can’t stand but who still as a person deserved my honesty. I was angry at the injustice of things and how the time is never right and I took my anger and frustration out on the one I said goodbye to a little bit. I am not proud of this and I tried to make amends but I leave with silence for an answer and a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Maybe one day in time, we can come around again in the right time and the right place, with understanding and love.

I am weary of goodbye. I am sad and drained and aged. I am now leaving my whole past behind while returning to the place my past occurred. The place has changed, as have the people who populated it…some have moved away, some have died and most have simply grown older. Enough has changed I think that restoration and a new life may take root and I can make my home my own and lay down deep roots, forge new friendships and find a love of my own unfettered by emotional baggage and closed doors and dead ends. Love does not conquer all: it often means, if we are honest, if we are true, that if we really love somebody we have to honor their choices enough to walk away and allow them the freedom to live their choices while sacrificing our own desires. I really loved him in the right way and when I am sad, as I am now, I am comforted by knowing I’ve grown enough to learn that letting go is an act of faith in doors that will open, other opportunities that will come, new people, new possibilities and new growth opportunities.

So I sit in the coffee shop and think of the movie Begin Again:

The hawk and the King

Look back with longing eyes and know that I will follow,

Lift me up in your love as a light wind lifts a swallow,

Let our flight be far in sun or blowing rain–

But what if I heard my first love calling me again?

Hold me on your heart as the brave sea holds the foam,

Take me far away to the hills that hide your home;

Peace shall thatch the roof and love shall latch the door–

But what if I heard my first love calling me once more?

Sara Teasdale, The Collected Poems

I dream endlessly in the arms of the night.

First that hawk flying into my life announcing you two days

before

I tied a message to the bird’s feet and it came back with your exultant reply

Rainbows pour into my black and white existence and Music explodes trumpets and stringed instruments surprising me

this was my heart singing

I am home with you right and present and correct. Years and obstacles mean nothing and there is just us in that large soft landing strip

our world where nothing bad can happen and we inseparable

Then a hole in the sky opened up sweeping you into it and I left here alone again wanting perpetual sleep but

Even my dreams are haunted with you in them

I with a strange family in a large rich house with your two blonde nieces who catch us kissing and you telling them there is no need to tell their aunt anything while you touch me in secret places and leave me wanting and I wake up body responsive and electric

This is the third dream. The first was when we were young and at the end of the runway at home you kissing me endlessly I can feel the smooth roughness if your face under my hands and smell you as I drink you into me

Desire is red and pink and uplifting and I fly upwards upon it wanting you to lift me higher and claim me in upward thrusts at airspeed

The second was last night.

no words only the silence of years apart and we

speaking in the still fraught language of looks caresses and desire

my heart caught hold of my soul as we held each other tightly and burst into flames

Your hand held tightly to mine.

I awoke still feeling the pressure of it

Alone

tearful hard lumps of sorrow liquefying and rushing out of eyes no longer unseeing

I have dreamed three days and plus the last fourteen nights with you a hawk in the first dreams alighting finally in front of me sharp eyes searching

Trusting.

Jesses hanging from your feet no longer tied and captive

Slowly and tenderly I take them off your feet entirely and you allow me to fling you exultantly up into the air and you fly as you always were meant to

you are a speck disappearing then

You are gone. I then sadly scan the empty blue one more time and turn to go back inside exulting in your freedom accepting what is

but no.

You return to me a man, sauntering jauntily up my porch stairs as you do catching hold of me once more

my body breaks out into song

Miracles happen I hear whispered in the breeze

I wait on the porch eyes scanning the horizon

We are connected

Awaiting

Contact

awaiting

Flight